On June 2, 1917, Congress approved the creation of Camp Jackson as a training center to be located in Columbia, SC. 100 years later, Fort Jackson has trained more than five million soldiers in Basic Training, now training nearly 50,000 each year. Throughout this time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has helped support this important mission, including the last nine years from the Charleston District.
When construction began in Columbia in 1917, the Charleston District was there to work on one of the three training posts they were asked to help with that year, along with Camp Wadsworth in Spartanburg and Camp Sevier in Greenville. After construction was completed at the end of that year, the Corps didn’t have much of a role for many years until the Savannah District picked up the military construction mission years later.
In 2008, there was a reorganization amongst the Corps and the Charleston District took over the military mission once again. Since then, the Charleston District has built basic training facilities, barracks, headquarters, physical training tracks, dining facilities and much more for Army recruits.
"We’re responsible for design and construction of many projects at Fort Jackson," said Rhonda Bath, chief of military construction. "Our project delivery teams work to serve our soldiers by providing the best facilities possible during their time at Fort Jackson. We’re proud to continue our tradition with Fort Jackson and congratulate them on 100 years of service to our country."
Fort Jackson celebrated their centennial on June 2nd and 3rd with a number of different activities around the post. A lecture series, golf tournament, cake cutting, birthday party, parachute show and country music concert by Hunter Hayes and Kellie Pickler were the highlights. These events were the culmination of a full year of build up across various media platforms, where Fort Jackson has been sharing information about their storied history.
"We’ve always had a great relationship with Fort Jackson and are proud to say that we have a field office on base," said Bath. "We’ve been flexible with our support over the last few years, adapting to what the leadership needs from us. We have a lot of projects in the pipeline for the next few years and our military mission will continue to grow."
The Charleston District is currently overseeing the construction of the new Pierce Terrace Elementary School on base, as well as conducting renovations on various buildings and performing Facility Investment Services to buildings across the fort’s 52,000 acres.
The Charleston District would like to wish a Happy 100th Birthday to Fort Jackson and is excited to continue to provide for our nation’s soldiers.